Letters to the Editor for Nov. 24, 2015

Many will struggle to pay for school bond

The Camas School Board voted on a $120 million bond to expand our high school, acquire additional property for future schools and various other projects.

All three of my sons went through the Camas school system and my grandchildren have graduated or are now in the Camas schools. I have fully supported our schools and totally believe in a quality education.

All we hear about is the potentially good things that this money will provide. Why is there never any discussion pertaining to the negative impact that this will have on many of our citizens?

I am referring to the increase in the property tax we pay on our homes. If this new bond passes, along with the inevitable increase in our property taxes coming Jan. 1, 2017, it will put a hardship on many residents in our community, me included.

If this bond is passed, my new property tax bill will be approximately 25 percent of my fixed income. I, like many other retirees, didn’t think we would ever have to leave our homes due to government taxation. Hopefully I will be able to absorb the added increases, but for many this many not be the case.

So when you vote, don’t just think about what may be best for our children. You may want to think about all of the old folks that help make this community what it is today.

Jim Peebles, Camas

Public comment on oil trains headed through Washougal

The Department of Ecology is seeking public input regarding the proposal to bring loaded 11 oil trains per week through Washougal to Grays Harbor.

I asked the Department of Ecology to include Camas and Washougal in its Draft Environmental Impact Statement, but they essentially ignored all communities between North Dakota and Centralia.

If the people of Camas and Washougal don’t know about this how can they submit a comment? If they don’t submit a comment, how will our government agencies know what’s at stake?

People could remind Ecology that the Skamania Fire District, Washougal School District, and the Washougal City Council are officially concerned about oil trains and safety.

Thirty cities including Portland, Los Angeles, and Vancouver have passed resolutions opposed to smaller oil terminals.

SEPA says that if a project is likely to have significant adverse impacts which can’t be avoided or mitigated, it may be rejected. For example, fatalities cannot be avoided or mitigated.

Citizens have until midnight Nov. 30 to submit a comment. Comments may be submitted through Ecology’s portal: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/geographic/graysharbor/terminals.html.

The crab and oyster industries discovered that their scoping comments were misplaced a year ago and not listed in the public records.

I have read part of the draft environmental impact statement and created a list of 110 omissions or errors.

By speaking up and showing up, citizens have stopped the propane terminals in Portland and Longview. Both would have involved propane trains travelling through Camas and Washougal.